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A name abridged

September 30, 2013

“All bridges are essentially the same and deserve our equal attention, because they point to a place where man encountered an obstacle yet didn’t stop, but rather conquered and “bridged” over the obstacle as best he could, according to his understanding, his taste and the opportunities in his surroundings. For all of this life is just a transit point, a bridge whose ends are lost in infinities, for which all earthly bridges are mere children’s playthings and pale symbols. All our hope rests on the other side.” —Ivo Andric

Mostar literally means “bridge guard”, from the Bosnian word most, bridge. It’s a city on a river, with 7 bridges. I never thought so much about bridges as when I lived there and crossed bridges on foot all day long.

Abrasevic, where I worked, was one of a very few ‘bridges on dry land’. It sits right on the former front line and was completely destroyed during the war. One building has been rebuilt.

Its name is also a bridge that spans the gap between two generations– Abrasevic Workers’ Cultural Association, founded in the 1920s, became Abrasevic Youth Cultural Center, (re)established in 2003. Meho Zekic, former technical secretary of Abrasevic, told me, “We insisted, we old members of the workers’ cultural center, that it keep its name, Abrasevic. That’s why they don’t get any municipal funding. That’s why it bothers some people. Politicians wanted it to be called something else…”

I talked to Meho Zekic about the old days. He said, “in those days we didn’t know who was what ethnicity… I can’t even remember at this point which ethnicity my colleagues belonged to.”


I made a video about the history of Abrasevic as my hero. It juxtaposes footage from Abrasevic in the 60s-70s and today. (In English.)

I also made a silly video about the “ghost” of the young poet, Kosta Abrasevic, who still haunts the youth cultural centre that bears his name– he would never dream of forsaking it. (In Bosnian language.)

PS Today is my blog’s one year anniversary… To me it’s also a bridge, between my present and my past, between myself and the reader, between myself and my town. If you have a blog, what metaphor would you use to describe it?

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. September 30, 2013 1:04 pm

    Happy anniversary! Hope you still post for another year and we are still here to exchange more wishes!

  2. October 1, 2013 4:58 pm

    Congrats on the 1 year mark! I love the last two posts.. the idea of this amateurish blog becoming this well constructed bridge. If I were to choose a metaphor for my blog, it would be a blank canvas. I experiment with painting and writing while people watch my work evolve.

  3. Anonymous permalink
    October 4, 2013 1:02 pm

    The video in English was “dobar”!….and “sretan” to finally know the etymology of “Mostar”….Hvala!

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  1. A bridge and a barricade | pilgrimography
  2. Catching fire | pilgrimography

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